Possessing good upper body strength plays a vital role during distance running. Muscular shoulders and arms help propel the body forward by acting as a counterbalance to the motion of the legs. This results in increased endurance, improved energy conservation and an overall better performance on the track. In addition, good upper body strength can help bolster and improve a jogger’s form when fatigue sets in. Some upper body strength building exercises include chair dips and push-ups.
Chair dips can be performed by sitting in a sturdy chair, walking your feet outward and lowering the body to the ground. Carefully lower your body steady until your upper arms are parallel to the floor and push back up to complete the motion. Tightening the abdominal muscles and glutes are important to maintain balance during this exercise.A push-up is another great upper body strength building exercise. It is performed by dropping into a plank position on the ground with your hands positioned slightly outside your shoulders. Slowly lower your upper body until your chest the ground, pause for one count, then push your body back up. Much like chair dips, you should tighten your glutes during this exercise to stabilize your hips and to help maintain balance.